When excessive compression or pressure is placed upon a nerve by adjoining tissues, a pinched nerve injury is likely to occur. The tissue that is causes by the compression will dictate of type of injury and severity of damage. For instance, in some situations the tendons or muscles will be the cause of compression. In other cases, such as a herniated spinal disk injury, the compression targets the nerve root cause by cartilage or bone tissues.
Pinched nerves are an injury that many people choose to overlook, often relying on the injury to subside naturally. However, in cases where the pain becomes chronic, the pinched nerve may cause permanent damage.
A range of contributing factors may lead to a pinched nerve. Amongst the most frequently seen factors are specific stress on the body due to repeated job duties, poor posture, injury, sports activities, obesity, and osteoarthritis. Understanding the most common signs of a pinched nerve will prove beneficial in seeking adequate care. Typical signs of a pinched nerve are as follows:
- A burning or sharp pain the likely radiates externally
- Reduced sensation or feeling of numbness in the area near the nerve
- Parethesia, otherwise known as “pins and needles’ or tingling sensations
- Recurring feeling that the affected area has “fallen asleep”
- Twitching near the aggravated region
- Muscle weakness in the spot where the pain resides
Some people may feel the above signs of a pinched nerve for a couple of days. If this is a quick pain, there may be no need to see a doctor. However, in situations where the above symptoms last for several days, it is important to visit a doctor to determine the extent of damage.
While anyone is certainly at risk to develop a pinched nerve injury, there are a few risk factors that will greatly increase the likelihood of this damage. Sadly, many people find themselves in a position where their work-related takes leave them no choice but to apply pressure and stress in a concentrated area. For those who can control their day-to-day activity, it is important to keep the following risk factors in mind:
- Poor posture
- Women have a much greater chance to develop carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bone spurs (such as osteoarthritis)
In addition, pregnancy tends to increase the probability of developing a pinched nerve. Finally, it has been proven that some people are genetically predisposed to this condition. Regardless of the cause, it is important to remain aware of the most common signs of a pinched nerve in order to take the proper measure to stop the pain before it becomes a chronic injury.